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March 19, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents  


The Senate resumes consideration of the continuing resolution to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal 2013. The House begins debate on the fiscal 2014 GOP budget measure and five alternatives.  
  The National Research Council's Ocean Studies Board will convene a meeting of the committee that's studying this subject at the Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks, to hear from Alaska-based experts in this subject. Topics to be discussed include physical oceanographic and terrestrial conditions, biological productivity, oil spill response (USCG, BSEE, AK DEC), and local community perspectives. The link above provides information on meeting logistics and the agenda. Remote link-in to the meeting can be arranged. Contact Heather Chiarello,
The Most Overstretched Agencies, According to Feds. Most of the agencies that ranked in the bottom 25 in the eyes of their employees as being overstretched are in the Agriculture, Homeland Security, Interior, Education and Commerce departments, according to the data. Federal Times 


Report Shows Commercial Fishermen Earned $1.9 Billion Fishing North Pacific. Alaska's seafood industry generated $4.7 billion in sales in 2011, with $2 billion in income, while providing more than 63,000 jobs, a new federal fisheries report says. Commercial fishermen in the North Pacific region, including off Alaska's shorelines, earned more than $1.9 billion from the commercial harvest of 5.3 billion pounds of seafood, the National Marine Fisheries Service said. Alaska Dispatch


Shell in ChukchiSouthwest Alaska Towns Hope to Share in Arctic Oil Boom. Forget the troubled Kulluk oil drillship's $6 million tax break. That's small potatoes compared to the much bigger multiples of millions in oil money that local Alaska governments want. The coming of Big Oil to Southwest Alaska-fueled by offshore oil drilling farther north in the Arctic-puts big and expensive burdens on municipal services, and representatives of local governments want federal policy changed to give the communities money to pay for impacts to roads, schools, hospitals, airports and more. Alaska Dispatch 


[Japan] Arctic Council Ambassador Named. Anticipating an increase in commercial use of sea routes due to climate change, the government on Tuesday appointed Masuo Nishibayashi, ambassador in charge of cultural exchange, to concurrently serve as ambassador in charge of the Arctic, a newly created post. Nishibayashi will take part in meetings of the Arctic Council, once Japan joins the eight-country grouping designed to promote cooperation over common issues in the region, including sustainable development and environmental protection, according to the Foreign Ministry. Japan Times


arcticcouncilSouth Korea's Bid to Join Arctic Council Strong: Sweden. The Yonhap News Agency says South Korea has "fulfilled its obligations in terms of economy, environment and security" in its bid to join the Arctic Council as a permanent observer. The agency reports that South Korea's application for observer status at the Arctic Council enjoys "strong" support from Sweden, which holds the chair of the council until May. Nunatsiaq Online


Canadian Arctic Energy Development a Possibility, not a Given. These conclusions are based on an ongoing study within the international research program 'Geopolitics of the High North'. Higher hydrocarbon price levels and new technology, coupled with optimistic resource appraisals at the turn of the millennium, have made the Canadian Arctic an attractive prospect for oil and gas multinationals. It is estimated that 'approximately 35% of Canada's remaining marketable resources of natural gas and 37% of remaining recoverable crude oil is in Northern Canada'. The Arctic Institute via MarineLink


canadian flagPro-Development Arctic Council, Led by Canada, Begins to Take Shape. Canada, the upcoming chair of the Arctic Council, has named Patrick Borbey as the new chair of the group of Senior Arctic Officials. His role will be to work with the SAOs from the other seven permanent member states along with representatives from indigenous organizations. Borbey will still retain his title as head of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq noted in a press release, "As Canada assumes the chairmanship in May of this year, we will lead the important work of the Arctic Council. Mr. Borbey's extensive experience working with Northerners will be a great asset in his role as the chair of the Arctic Senior Officials." Alaska Dispatch


ChinaflagChina Pours Cash Into Melting Arctic in Bid to Win Influence. At face value, it is not one of the world's most important relationships. When Norway and China fell out two years ago over a Nobel prize awarded to a Chinese dissident, the spat had little wider resonance. But diplomatic relations are thawing as quickly as Arctic ice - and the upshot could be significant for the frigid northern wastes of the planet, which are thought to sit on formidable quantities of mineral reserves. The Guardian


Yukon Fish Farm Experiments with All-Female Stock. A fish farm in Whitehorse is part of a new research project into breeding a stock of Arctic char that is all female. Jonathan Lucas, the manager at Icy Waters, said it's already common practice for cows and pigs on farms as well as some other species of farmed fish. This is the first time it's being done with Arctic char. The fish farm has 220,000 thousand fish in its tanks and another 600,000 in the hatchery. The facility was established in 1985 and so far has been raising a mix of male and female char. CBC News  

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events                      

Lecture: Melting Ice: What is happening to Arctic sea ice and what does it mean for us? March 20, 2013, Washington DC.The National Research Council is sponsoring the 14th annual Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture, to be given by Dr. John Walsh of the Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks. The lecture, which starts at 5:30 pm in the Baird Auditorium, in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (10th Street and Constitution entrance) is free, and open to the public, but pre-registration for planning purposes, would be appreciate. Please contact Pamela Lewis ( with questions.


The American Geophysical Union (AGU), in partnership with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the National Academies' Ocean Studies Board, will present a lunch briefing on Melting Sea Ice in the Arctic: Science to Understand the Impacts to Our National Security, Natural Resources, and Economy. Speakers for the event include Dr. Cecilia Bitz, associate professor of atmospheric sciences and affiliate physicist for the Polar Science Center at the University of Washington; Lt. Commander Kenneth J. Boda, Arctic strategic analys and prospective executive officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter POLAR STAR; Dr. Brendan P. Kelly, assistant director for polar sciences at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President; and Dr. John E. Walsh, chief scientist of the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


The 100th meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission will be held in Bethel. Additional information (agenda) is available at 

Deadly Dance: Arctic Warming and Global Climate Change, March 26-27, 2013 (Tufts University, Medford, MA) The Warming Arctic, the Edward R. Murrow Center and the Center of International Environment and Resource Policy will convene a group of experts, policy makers, business and media to examine the growing body of evidence on the climate impact of the Arctic - and try to share some big approaches to it. 


28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013, Anchorage. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors.


Arctic Science Summit Week, April 13-19, 2013. Krakow, Poland. The ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science and to combine science and management meetings. Side meetings organized by groups with interest in the Arctic science and policy will also be held within the week.


American Polar Society 75th Anniversary, April 15-18, 2013, Woods Hole, MA. The American Polar Society will hold a meeting and symposium at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This meeting and symposium is titled "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics." 


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013, Vancouver, BC, CA. 

 The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013, Bergen, Norway. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.


Private Sector Transportation, Infrastructure, Assets, Response, Capacity, and Development in the Arctic, May 30, 2012, Seattle, WA. A recently-held Arctic transportation workshop in Iceland highlighted the need to better understand private sector transportation infrastructure and assets, recognizing industry's role in the responsible development of resources, response and supportive infrastructure. As a follow-up to its efforts to inventory and map Arctic transportation infrastructure, the Institute of the North is hosting a workshop at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington that focuses on three critical areas: private sector assets and infrastructure in the Arctic, staging areas outside the Arctic that support Northern development, and vessels and technology that are difficult to map but need to be measured for future decision-making. Participants include industry representatives, technical experts, researchers, Coast Guard and other response personnel.


AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013. (Washington, DC) Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals will discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic. The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association.

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